Butte Creek Mill, first named Snowy Creek Mill, was constructed in 1872 with
local timber, mortice and square headed nails. The original mill was a
four-story structure with a daylight basement, the main floor with the grinding
floor and shop area, and two upper floors which were probably used for storage.
To the north of the mill building were four square storage bins for grain. As
it stands, the main structure is essentially in original condition with only a
few minor changes. The basement has a 20" mortared stone retaining wall
along the west (street) side, with short wing walls on each side. The
structural frame is of 12" to 14" square hand hewn posts and beams,
with an elaborate system of 4" x 4" knee and x-bracing, the joinery
is mortice and tenon (and lapped), held together with oak pegs. An addition was
built on the south side in 1912.
The mill has
been in continuous operation since it opened and has had several owners over
the years. In 2004, Bob Russell bought the water-powered grist mill from Peter
Crandall for $595,000. Crandall had owned the mill since 1972.
Butte Creek Mill was partly destroyed by fire on December 25, 2015 and as a
means towards reconstruction, the Butte Creek Foundation was formed, and
purchased the mill for for $136,000.
This video was
produced for then owner Bob Russell by Jeff Hunter with photography by
Dasja Dolan. Until the 2015 fire the video played in the lobby to inform and
mill, at 402 N. Royal Ave., is on the National Register of Historic Places and
was the last commercially operated mill of its type this side of the
Mississippi.The structure is nearing restoration and is expected to be open to
the public again in 2021.
This work was digitized for the City of Eagle Point with the permission of Bob Russell thanks in part to the Jackson County Cultural Coalition and the Oregon Division of the Association of College and Research Libraries, the help of the Eagle Point Museum.